Monday, August 23, 2010

And the sun hit the derrick and cast a bat wing shadow

Monday, August 23, 2010
With the exception of a gentle jaunt with the Nor Man, the most notable moment of which was the nimble avoidance of explosive bovine diarrhea, Sunday was my first proper ride since the Alps. I was not in ideal physical condition, having, on the previous afternoon, gone straight from the performance of a bizillion sqats to an accidental triple pint combo. And so it was that I hit the Sabbath hills in the company of Mr. M and my best Polish friend Marcin. My quads were achy and my head was fuzzy. It was glorious. Plenty of the usual climbing and a little never done before diversion to the allegedly highest paved point in the country. This involved some hairy descending on a steep, gravelly winding track. I skidded a little at one point but did not crash. Coming off Sally Gap I followed Mr M's line and for the first time ever was not downhill dropped by him. This felt very good. Later, on the final serious descent of the day, I skidded again, again on gravel and this time a little more violently. I regained control. With my heart pounding and a little tremor in my braking hands I took the rest of the decent at a more leisurely pace. All these close calls. But then there's always at least one a ride.

We split up just after Rathfarnham, Marcin heading back to his beautiful baby girl, Mr M to whatever it is that the childless do on a Sunday. I checked my clock and saw that I had plenty of time to shower, change pedals and have a little rewarmup before starting my spin at 12. It felt good to have done three hours and to still feel strong and ready for the rest of the day. I wished that i had made more use of the weather since I'd been back, made more of an effort to get out. I looked forward to the remaining warmish weeks and putting in some serious mileage. Glowing with all those good endorphins, I gave a little kick on the brief incline up to Orwell Road. I checked right as I approached the left hand turn. Clear, I would have called had I been with the boys. And then my hands came off the bars.

I don't know why. It happened fast. They were on the hoods. Then they weren't. I can only assume it was a bump or a pothole. But off they were. And as I was about to make a turn, albeit at a measly 30kmh, I really needed them on. Yeah, it happened fast. But everything else happened slow. Slowly, my latest bike and I sped toward the very wrong side of the road. Slowly, I tried to regain balance, get my hands on the bars, make the turn. Slowly, the red van in the corner of my eye hurtled towards me.

Oh so slowly. Slow enough to know I wasn't going to connect head on. Slow enough to know that I was certainly going to connect. I reached the bars to turn but not the brakes to slow. It was with pace and power that I shoulder-charged the van, pace and power enough to do insurance claim worthy damage to its side panel. With my shoulder. I bounced off. The bike flew away unscathed. I dropped to the tarmac and lay crumpled in the bright Sunday morning sun.

11 Johns and Janes for the comment whore:

Radge said...

Still in hospital? Lasting damage?

Megan McGurk said...

Christ, what a terrible scene.

Take it easy in the recovery, Gimme.

Gimme said...

Radge:
Broken shoulder blade. Just an overnight stay. I'm told it's the second most painful upper body fracture.

Thank you for the opportunity to share that.

Megan:
People made a circle around me, like in the movies.

It was nice.

seasonticket said...

CRUMBS!
Get well soon.

Radge said...

I ought really to have added a message of support or at least an empathic 'ouch.' It was implied.

Twenty Major said...

'Crumpled' is fantastic. From the reader's point of view. Not so much yours, Johnny one-arm.

Get well soon.

Gimme said...

Kel:
How Penfold of you. Thanks, I will.

Radge:
I took it as such.

Twenty:
I hadn't hit the pavement before I started searching for the mot juste.

Conan Drumm said...

Fuck, and double fuck. Have you been able to go back to the spot and figure out what might have happened?

I stopped myself with my face on the windscreen of a parked car when I was about 11. Lunchtime on the way back to school, it was never parked there before and I was on autopilot. Went into shock about an hour later. Hope you're ok, and best to all the gals they must have been worried for you.

Ellie said...

What's the most painful upper body injury?

Gimme said...

Conan:
It's all the way across town Conan, and this lady is not for moving until he has to go to James's again.

The were worried alright. Particularly when Data saw the slight mess I had made of my face. But now they're just pissed off that I'm taking up the tv room.

Gimme said...

Ellie:
Sternum. Hard to do too.

 
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